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 Post subject: Townley vs Newstead Wood
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:46 pm 
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Hello All, I'd like some feedback on Townley Grammar and Newstead Wood. We are in catchment of both schools and my dd secured fairly good scores in both. Whilst Townley is a bit nearer to our home, we are quite inclined towards Newstead Wood. But I also know Townley will also be a right fit as it also focuses on art and drama.
I need pointers on how good the teachers are of both schools and the discipline. Any further info will be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:36 am 
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Tough choice. We have the same now and had the same with our eldest daughter …. We opted for NW in the end and haven’t regretted it. Both daughters are also artsy and performers.

Townley seemed to have a lot going for it on this front, certainly from open days (cancelled again this year at last minute unfortunately), but NW run an excellent LAMDA programme and my daughter was straight into the full school production as a yr7 of hairspray, which was unbelievably good. Music department offering is really strong, supported by the Bromley Youth Music Trust. We didn’t see any of that on the NW open days (last time around) and tours, but it is there. My Yr9 daughter is really engaged by art lessons. She certainly doesn’t see it as a peripheral subject.

I would say that NW is academic, but also offers a lot more outside the school day. I guess it depends on how much girls want to take on. Teaching is excellent, with one exception in yr7 in a minor subject (teacher no longer at the school now).

Above all the school is small so feels more like our one form entry primary school. Head and Deputy teachers are fantastic communicators and the learning provision, and connection with the school through lockdown was very good, possibly too much. The girls work really hard, but I don’t feel that my daughter has felt pressured by the workload, but she’s certainly had more homework in year 7 than my son had at St Olave’s. I think it’s ingrained in the culture of a super-selective admissions process.

The girls, by extension, have a really strong work ethic and I think that makes teaching and learning much easier. I’ve not heard of any bullying in our year group and the school seems to have a much greater focus on well being under the current head. He’s definitely got great soft skills and interacts with the pupils. My daughter is a big fan.

It was certainly the right choice for us and is highly likely to be the choice again this time around.

My daughter has many friends at Townley and the feedback is mixed. None of it bad, but none of it glowing. Equally, we don’t really bang on about NW either way, so they might say the same in reverse.

One doubt we had from our first daughter’s Townley visits was that the new head was far less impressive than the super head that has built Townley’s reputation, but we’ve since heard that she is an excellent leader and seemingly more involved with the girls and parents… when we heard her speak she was very new in the role, so was understandably less assured. Shame we won’t get to see the school again this time around, but in a way it might make the decision easier for us as we are definitely leaning to NW.

Geographically speaking, we are quite far from both schools, so friends would be further flung than in your case. With NW purely academic admission, this means that my daughter is equally ‘disadvantaged’ on that front, having to travel some way to meet with friends. There aren’t many local friends, but at her age now, she’s more than capable of meeting up under her own steam.

If you live nearer to Townley I’d imagine your daughter would have far more local friends and I’m guessing carry more friends through from primary school. That said my eldest has made some really good friends very quickly. All lovely, sensible and self-assured, as well as still being in touch with old primary school friends, including many at Townley.

Good luck with the selection. Pretty sure that it will work out either way. I wouldn’t discount NW on the basis of it being any less focused on art and drama, but if this is the real focus of your daughter, then maybe Townley would be a better fit.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:13 am 
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Very well encapsulated, thank you. Indeed Lamda is what we'll be inclined towards, is it within school hours?

I'm sure the school will give us the liberty of choosing GCSE and A level subjects x


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
We made this decision 6 years ago between Townley, Tonbridge and Newstead. My husband much preferred Townley, it had new computing suite, the buildings looked much less tired. I liked Tonbridge due to the IB and more rural setting. DD liked Newstead and so we put it top of the list and she has never regretted it. She turned down a place at a top Public school to stay on at sixth-form.

Newstead have a lot of bolt-on options that are done at lunchtimes and after hours (dance, Latin, Japanese) as well as as non-paid or small contribution 'electives' that are done each term during school hours, from fencing, journalism, classical civilisation, film & photography, outreach at a local primary school, table tennis, Crest Science award, Enigma maths, Medics, Dentists & Vets (MDV), sports leadership, IGCSE Environmental Management, fitness plus tons that I've forgotton about.

You ask if the classes are within school hours, taken from the letter circulated in July 2020:

Quote:
AFTER SCHOOL ELOCUTION AND LAMDA/NEA CLUB... Venue: Newstead Wood School sixth form block.
•Year Seven -Thursdays-3.30pm -5pm.
•Year Eight -Mondays-3.30pm -5pm.
•Year Nine -Wednesdays -3.30pm-5pm.
•Year Ten, Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen-Fridays -3.30pm-5pm.

It is possible to join another day if there are clashes with the schedule above. The club works on voice production, communication skills and preparing for exams. A three-term enrolment is recommended to develop students' vocal skills, but termly enrolment is available. The club runs for 12 weeks during the school term and the cost is £144 per term. It is possible to take 1 to 3 exams per year.

DAYTIME ELOCUTION AND LAMDA/NEA LESSONS...Venue: Meeting Room
Daytime classes are shared classes for two and run for 10 weeks per term and cost £200 per term. It is possible to take 1 to 3 exams per year.

ZOOM ELOCUTION AND LAMDA/NEA LESSONS
Zoom classes are available after school and at weekends during term time. Zoom lessons are fun and focused. Lessons are shared and last half an hour. Zoom LAMDA/NEA is £100 a term for ten lessons per term.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:36 pm
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You can book a tour of Newstead with your daughter, that would be the best option.
The facilities in Newstead are much older than the ones at Townley. Over the last two years, most clubs stopped with COVID.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Yes most of the clubs stopped (like in most schools) but the electives continued. Electives are usually run for a term so they get to do three a year.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:58 pm
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I posted the same on another thread, so apologies for repetition, I can not speak for Townley, but my eldest DD is in NW in year 8. One negative comment I would say is that we have had very little contact with the school, very little feedback. In year 7 we received an interim report in December and end of year report in summer, with 10mins video call with our form tutor, who just read out what was written in the report, that was it. Nothing this year. No parents meetings, I have not spoken to any of the teachers. My DDs end of year report indicated that she is not strong in a few subjects, particularly English, and again, there is no support, no plan for further action, no additional conversation with parents. It felt like it was given to the parents to sort out / improve if we want to. My DD says some of her friends in year 8 already have tutors outside of school!
For full disclosure – my second DD is applying to NW this year, so I am not trying to put anyone off to reduce competition! We are applying again because the school has a good reputation overall, but mainly because we have little choice from where we live, there are no other grammar schools in the area.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:06 pm
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Thank you everyone, really appreciate. I need more info on Townley, perhaps I'll call both the schools to understand better.
Having good and consistent teachers is a key and how the schools result is for A levels. X


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:06 pm
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Is 229 score good enough? We are within catchment of Newstead Wood


delasota wrote:
Tough choice. We have the same now and had the same with our eldest daughter …. We opted for NW in the end and haven’t regretted it. Both daughters are also artsy and performers.

Townley seemed to have a lot going for it on this front, certainly from open days (cancelled again this year at last minute unfortunately), but NW run an excellent LAMDA programme and my daughter was straight into the full school production as a yr7 of hairspray, which was unbelievably good. Music department offering is really strong, supported by the Bromley Youth Music Trust. We didn’t see any of that on the NW open days (last time around) and tours, but it is there. My Yr9 daughter is really engaged by art lessons. She certainly doesn’t see it as a peripheral subject.

I would say that NW is academic, but also offers a lot more outside the school day. I guess it depends on how much girls want to take on. Teaching is excellent, with one exception in yr7 in a minor subject (teacher no longer at the school now).

Above all the school is small so feels more like our one form entry primary school. Head and Deputy teachers are fantastic communicators and the learning provision, and connection with the school through lockdown was very good, possibly too much. The girls work really hard, but I don’t feel that my daughter has felt pressured by the workload, but she’s certainly had more homework in year 7 than my son had at St Olave’s. I think it’s ingrained in the culture of a super-selective admissions process.

The girls, by extension, have a really strong work ethic and I think that makes teaching and learning much easier. I’ve not heard of any bullying in our year group and the school seems to have a much greater focus on well being under the current head. He’s definitely got great soft skills and interacts with the pupils. My daughter is a big fan.

It was certainly the right choice for us and is highly likely to be the choice again this time around.

My daughter has many friends at Townley and the feedback is mixed. None of it bad, but none of it glowing. Equally, we don’t really bang on about NW either way, so they might say the same in reverse.

One doubt we had from our first daughter’s Townley visits was that the new head was far less impressive than the super head that has built Townley’s reputation, but we’ve since heard that she is an excellent leader and seemingly more involved with the girls and parents… when we heard her speak she was very new in the role, so was understandably less assured. Shame we won’t get to see the school again this time around, but in a way it might make the decision easier for us as we are definitely leaning to NW.

Geographically speaking, we are quite far from both schools, so friends would be further flung than in your case. With NW purely academic admission, this means that my daughter is equally ‘disadvantaged’ on that front, having to travel some way to meet with friends. There aren’t many local friends, but at her age now, she’s more than capable of meeting up under her own steam.

If you live nearer to Townley I’d imagine your daughter would have far more local friends and I’m guessing carry more friends through from primary school. That said my eldest has made some really good friends very quickly. All lovely, sensible and self-assured, as well as still being in touch with old primary school friends, including many at Townley.

Good luck with the selection. Pretty sure that it will work out either way. I wouldn’t discount NW on the basis of it being any less focused on art and drama, but if this is the real focus of your daughter, then maybe Townley would be a better fit.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:56 pm
Posts: 35
"Is 229 score good enough? We are within catchment of Newstead Wood”

You can find this info here

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=62613


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